WRJ Central District
In This Issue
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WRJ Central District
Executive Committee

Sandy Adland

Immediate Past President
Chair of Nominating and Finance Committees
Marilyn Goldfein

Past President
Vice Chair of Nominating
Hilda Glazer

1st Vice President
Sheilah Abramson-Miles

VP Development & Special Projects
Beth Lande

VP Marketing & Communication
Rachel Lambermont

Recording Secretary
Marci Delson

Corresponding Secretary
Jan Goldstein

Membership Secretary
Royalyn Vert

Susan Singer

Bulletin Editor
Alida Forshaw

Laurie Blinder

Beth Goldstein

Area Directors
E. Michigan - Michelle Simpson
W. Michigan - Lucy Gersten
Southwest - Alison Auerbach
South - Sandy Heymann
Central Ohio - Lisa Kalson
West - Charlene Pfenninger
N. Ohio - Trina Miller
N.E. Ohio - Ellen Half

WRJ Board Members
Sheilah Abramson-Miles
Sandy Adland
Alison Auerbach
Sally Blau
Laurie Blinder
Pamela Feldman-Hill
Hilda Glazer
Hillary Handwerger
Rachel Lambermont
Beth Lande
Lesley Levin
Lizabeth McOsker
Jerri Mobley
Charlene Pfenninger
Lisa Singer


The Central District Speakers Bureau is here to serve YOUR sisterhood!


Shabbat Services



Leadership Development

Torah Study

Area Days

A district speaker can take your event to the next level!

Contact Rachel Lambermont,


to find out more!


You will find helpful resources, toolkits, up- to-date information, and more!

Our website


Our blog - Sharing the Best

Our Facebook Page



L'Shanah Tova
WRJ Central District!
From the President
As I write this final article as President of Central District, the weekly Torah portion is Nitzavim. Just two years ago at our Installation, I read the words, "So here we are. Atem Nitzavim - we stand here this day, all of us together, on the shoulders of 100 years of Jewish women whose vision, tenacity, dedication, chutzpah and strength have brought us to this day." Central District's successes over the past two years have been driven by the incentive to continue the work of our foremothers. We are a little over one month away from the 2016 District Convention in Louisville, KY, when this administration will become a link in the sacred chain, and a new group of leaders will carry on this precious legacy.
Central District has accomplished so much over the past two years and looking back, at the heart of our many successes are the three pillars of this administration; Audacious Hospitality, Connections and Communication. Our Area Directors have done a wonderful job staying in touch with their area presidents, creating numerous Area Days, and visiting their area sisterhoods whenever possible. Our Vice Presidents have done a great job assisting their department chairs with their respective duties. Our 1st Vice President, Convention Facilitator and their planning committee (the PEEPS) have created outstanding district events. We rolled out a beautiful remodeled district website. We welcomed our 36th sisterhood, Congregation Beth Shalom Sisterhood, Carmel, IN into our sisterhood circle. Following WRJ's initiative to implement Individual Membership, Central District now has 5 Individual Members within our district boundaries. We were blessed to have Women of the Wall Director Lesley Sachs with us for our 2016 Kallah at GUCI. And speaking of GUCI, we held a very successful Inaugural Sisterhood Service Retreat at GUCI April 29-May 1st, 2016, where Central District women and GUCI women alumni came together for a weekend of work, spirituality, WRJ/GUCI education, fun, friendship and bonding. We are well represented on the WRJ Board of Directors as well as the WRJ Executive Committee. While our Speakers Bureau is somewhat underused, there has been a robust amount of informal visitation by district leaders to our sisterhoods throughout the district, strengthening the connection, and underscoring the benefits of affiliation between local sisterhoods, Central District, and WRJ. We implemented "Caravans" that visited a few of our smaller sisterhoods throughout the region. Several months back, sisterhood presidents had the opportunity, via Sign-up Genius, to share in a 20-minute "chat with the president". This was a great way for us to get to know each other and to provide for a one-on-one Q&A. In the hope of "widening our tent" and in the name of Audacious Hospitality, we initiated "A Taste of Central District" whereby any woman not yet affiliated with a sisterhood or WRJ can attend a district event (District Convention or Interim Meeting) on a one-time basis. The list of accomplishments goes on and on, and I'm proud of each and every one of them.
Gratitude is where I began my term as your president, and it is with gratitude that I wish to conclude. Thank you, and Kol HaKavod - all the honor - to each and every one of you; district leaders, sisterhood presidents, sisterhood board members, sisterhood members and individual members throughout Central District. Each one of you makes a powerful and valuable difference, each one of you matters, and each one of you is the reason why Central District is strong, vibrant, and beautiful. Thank you for the heart and soul, dedication, commitment and passion that you put into this sacred endeavor on behalf of the future of the Jewish people, and in the name of justice for all. It has been a sacred honor and privilege to serve as your president.
I look forward to sharing what I know will be a spectacular District Convention with you in a few short weeks, when Central District will "Rock the Boat" with WRJ Special Guest fredi Bleeker Franks, an opportunity you don't want to miss! I can't wait to see you there!
Here's wishing all of you and those you love a very happy, healthy and sweet New Year 5777. May we always remember that as WRJ sisters we are always here for each other, wherever we are in the world, and that we are indeed "Stronger Together".
L'Shanah Tova,
The WRJ Central District Convention
Is Almost Here!

Make plans now to come to Louisville, Kentucky November 3-6, 2016 as WRJ Central District Rocks the Boat with our most exciting convention ever!
Join us as we celebrate the second Torah portion of the year,
Noach, the story of Noah.
You won't want to miss.....
  • fredi Bleeker Franks , WRJ Vice President of Development and Special Projects will share an inspiring Dvar Torah on Shabbat Morning and will play a prominent role throughout the weekend
  • Rabbi Nadia Siritsky , Vice President of Mission from KentuckyOne Health, Friday's Keynote Speaker on the subject of Human Trafficking
  • Tori Murden McClure , our Shabbat Keynote Speaker, a true American heroine, the first woman (and person) to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean and author of the bestseller "A Pearl in the Storm"
  • Installation Dinner at the world famous Muhammad Ali Center. Immerse yourself in the life story of "The Greatest"
  • Entertainment by Louisville native Jonathan Wolff, best known as the composer of the iconic music for "Seinfeld" as well as over 70 other network series
  • Exciting YES FUNDraiser
  • Workshops of a wide variety throughout the weekend
  • Opportunities for sharing and networking
  • Central District Awards Ceremony
  • Make new friends, reunite with those you know, and join in the FUN!
See you in Louisville!
For Registration Form, click here

For the hotel, call to reserve your room. Reservations made before Oct 14, will receive the special rate. More information.

A Message From Our 1st Vice President
Sheilah Abramson-Miles
As I look back on the past year 5776 as 1st Vice President two words come to mind: preparation and communication.

I have been truly blessed with a wonderful group of creative and energetic Sisters who are in the process of preparing an incredible Central District Convention November 3-6 in Louisville. Come to Louisville where we will meet and plan, pray and learn and laugh; all with the unique Ruach of Women of Reform Judaism.

Communication with our Area Directors, Peeps (Convention Planners) and the Central District Board are a six day a week occurrence. I thank all of you who have been so open and helpful to me, especially our President Sandy Adland. Sandy, I am in awe of your limitless energy and constant devotion to WRJ and Central District. Toda Raba, thank you so very much!

I am Looking forward to our New Year 5777 and the beginning of my Presidency. It is my hope to establish a lateral leadership development. This will be not solely from the top down but across the board recognizing the talents and passions of all.

Congregation Beth Shalom Sisterhood
Our Newest WRJ Member
#36 Double Chai
Beth Lande

Congregation Beth Shalom is just in the infant stages as it began just six years ago in Carmel, Indiana.

It was natural and expected that at some point we would create and start a sisterhood. As our congregation grew into over 80 families and Brotherhood was started we knew it was time. But no one could have anticipated the excitement, engagement and growth we have experienced over the past 16 months since our inaugural kick off brunch on May 3, 2015.

As I say to everyone, "it warms my heart" to share our growth and love from the women of this community and support for Congregation Beth Shalom and WRJ. Since May of 2015, we have supported, sponsored and co-created over 16 events. The women and congregation wanted a social connection so that was our focus over the first year. We are now at over 60 members and growing daily. Although we would love it if you were also a member of Beth Shalom you don't have to be. Our sisterhood is open to all women interested.
So how have we grown and what is the key to our initial burst of energy:

*We immediately joined the Women of Reform Judaism to be engaged in all that they offer and to access valuable resources. We were # 36 for our district which immediately brought us hope and a positive energy!!!

*We offered events for all ages and all types from supporting all the holidays with Brotherhood, women's night out, old bag purse auction and tea, Women's heart evening with a cardiologist to a recent night with a nutritionist and acupuncture specialist. Our biggest event was our annual BBQ Shabbat this year at Goldman Union Camp (GUCI). We had over 120 people attending and brotherhood cooking while we sat outside in their beautiful Beit Tefilah and worshiped together among the trees and sky.

*Both Sandy Adland (our current Central District President) and Sheila Abramson-Miles (our incoming Central District President) have come and participated at events at Beth Shalom. They have focused on WRJ connecting us to a bigger group and the purpose of WRJ as well as our sisterhood's accomplishments .

*Our very first Sisterhood Shabbat was held on September 9, 2016. A beautiful service was created by Charlene Pfenninger, Jackie Randall and Sharon Karp with over 12 sisterhood women participating. It was an unforgettable moment to remember forever with a tremendous turnout for the evening from the congregation and the community.

I could go on and on about events and connections but most of all it is about the people. Within our sisterhood, no one knows a stranger and in fact everyone knows everyone. The women put their heart and soul into working together and learning all they can about how we can make a difference locally, in our district and throughout the world. Many have never been a part of a Sisterhood before Beth Shalom and have truly embraced this new opportunity of connection and friendship.
We are taking baby steps as we have really only just begun and look forward to a wonderful year ahead with many more "first time moments" experienced together. We are fortunate to have WRJ in our lives to support and guide us and we don't take lightly that we are #36 in our district!!

On behalf of Congregation Beth Shalom Sisterhood we want to wish everyone La Shana Tovah - a happy and healthy and wonderful New Year!!
Beth Lande

Congregation Beth Shalom Sisterhood - Communications Director
VP Development and Special Projects - WRJ Central District

It's Not Too Late To Show Some Love
In Our
2016 District Convention Tribute Book

There are only days before we have to stop accepting tributes and ads-- a great way to honor both district and local sisterhood leaders. Thank Sandy Adland, our current District President, for a wonderful two years and welcome Sheilah Abramson-Miles as our new president and thank her for all the work she has done this past year as 1st Vice President. It's also a great opportunity to honor our other officers and Area Directors- both past and new, and your own sisterhood leaders. Brag about your sisterhoods; thank you's to local sisterhood boards and officers are very welcome.
We encourage tributes from congregations, temple boards, rabbis, husbands, families, friends, businesses, or others in the community. We hope you will be generous in your support of this project. All the profits from the Tribute book goes to minimizing the costs of the next Conference, so your sisterhoods are effectively getting your tribute money returned to you in reduced registration costs.
To get ideas for what you can do, view our last convention's (our first) Tribute Book and Program at http://wrjcentral.org/wp-content/documents/2014tribute_book.pdf , starting at p18. Last year, we had a member say she didn't know her husband could take out an ad supporting her-so don't be in that position-YES they can. We will be relying on the local sisterhoods to help promote this within your temples, congregations, and communities.

Sizes and Rates for your "tribute" are:
Inside Front/Back Covers
4.75 x 7.75
Center pages
4.75 x 7.75
Full page
4.75 x 7.75
Half page
4.75 x 3.75
Quarter page
2.25 x 4.75 or 4.75 x 1.75
Chai Mazel Tov
2 Lines - max 180 characters

Please submit articles for the January issue of Isha L'Isha
on or before December 15, 2016.

Articles and photos should be emailed to ishawrjcentral@gmail.com

It has been my honor to serve as your bulletin editor for the past two years
! Starting with the next issue, the bulletin will be in the very capable hands of Alison Auerbach. Thank you for all of your help and kindness! Remember to keep the good things coming.

Alida Forshaw,

Bulletin Editor (for now)

WRJ Central District